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Rachel Larkey ’14, RD, CDN, CLC

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition/Dietetics

Posted in: Spotlights

Photo of alumna, Rachel Larkey '14

Why did you choose this field of study?  Why did you choose the program at Montclair State University?

I initially started at another school studying musical theater. I ended up spending so much time in their dining hall, helping them plan and order gluten-free food items (I have Celiac Disease), that it inspired me to become a dietitian. I chose to transfer to Montclair in my sophomore year because it was affordable, had an accredited program, and the facilities were gorgeous and state-of-the-art.

What were the best parts of your program?

All of the technology at the school is top-notch. The industrial kitchens are excellent quality—there’s even a brand new tasting lab for research, which is so cool. The classrooms were new and it really felt like the school was investing in our learning. I also really appreciated the advisement of the faculty, specifically Dr. Murray, to whom I still turn for major life decisions today.

What was your favorite class or experience in the program, and why was that so important to you?

I loved being in the Montclair State Dietetics Organization (MSDO). I joined when it was a class IV organization with a handful of members, and helped to build it up with my classmates. In my senior year, I was the vice president and we had gone from class IV to class II, applying to be a class I and were planning campus-wide events with large budgets. It was an awesome experience where I made close friendships and learned valuable leadership skills.

Now that you are working in your field, how did your program prepare you for this position?

It’s tough to be prepared to see patients without real-world clinical experience, but I think Montclair’s program definitely provided me the solid foundation of knowledge that I needed to successfully enter the clinic rotations to complete my licensure.  

Please tell us about what you are currently doing and what your future plans are.

I work as a dietitian at a community health center in Brooklyn. I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to a wide array of patients with varying medical needs. I practice from a Health at Every Size perspective, meaning I don’t use weight as a measure of health and instead focus on guiding patients towards life-affirming behavioral change and a good relationship with food no matter their nutritional needs. 

In the future, I hope to continue serving populations in need and to travel more.